Monday, June 11, 2007

Fruits of the Earth - post II

Gide continues to guide the reader through the things to enjoy in life and gets onto the areas of drink and love handing out some advice as well as some anecdotes about his own experiences.

This book probably only sold 500 copies in a decade because it is difficult to stick with and although now and again the point he is making becomes clear it is almost instantly lost under waves of confusing poetry and references to places and people that have not lasted the years.

Bullet points between 72 – 135

* Having gone through some of the things that should be enjoyed in life the idea of love and sex are touched on with the advice being that it is a great idea as long as deceit doesn’t come into it

* Then there are several pages that focus on drink with the advice being that it is relatively easy to get drunk and when you do so the way you see the world can be quite enjoyable

"I know the drunkenness that makes you think yourself better, greater, more respectable, more virtuous, richer than you are."


* The scene then shifts to a farm and the rooms in the farmyard are described as they are walked through with the virtues of animals and animal products like milk and butter praised

* Then things shift to an autumnal Brittany and the recollections gather around the seasons, the weather and then the benefit of siestas before he is off again to the deserts dreaming of sand and the quenching quality of water

* Gide admits there is not really a main character in the book and that he is addressing the reader in a random type of way sharing experiences that meant something to him hoping that in turn they will mean something to those that have yet to think about them - like the patterns of leaves for instance

The first part of the book draws almost to a close and there is the second part to look forward to (a bit of tongue in cheek here) when Gide had become a communist. That awaits tomorrow...

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